ROCHESTER — The Kingsmen reigned supreme Saturday afternoon at the IHSAA Regional Wrestling Tournament held at Rochester. Penn fielded five individual champions to help bolster a final team score 193.5, besting Plymouth’s 120 for the 14th regional title in program history. Culver Academy tied for third with Mishawaka with 77 points while Wawasee was fifth with 68 points to round out the top five teams.
The Warriors led the way for local teams, advancing four to next week’s semi-state at East Chicago Central including one champion.
Braxton Alexander surprised the field in his 120-pound championship bout by upsetting top-seeded Tanner DeMien of Penn. Alexander (37-3) was a winner by fall (2:23) in the title tilt to claim his first career regional championship. The sophomore enjoyed a pin in each of his victories on the day, starting with one in the second period against Riley’s Terrance Jones. In the semifinal Alexander was a winner by fall (4:24) over Joey Zahl of Adams before oveing on to top DeMien.
Joining Alexander at next week’s semi-state will be Garrett Stuckman (113 pounds), Geremia Brooks (126) and Jeremiah Dilley (220). Stuckman and Brooks were each runners-up while Dilley took third.
Stuckman (34-6) defeated Mishawaka’s Brendon Mark 11-1 in the first round to punch his semi-state ticket but then stayed hot by upsetting top-seeded Robert White of Culver Academies 8-4 in double overtime. Kory Cavanaugh proved to be too much for Stuckman in the finals, earning a 20-5 tech fall.
Brooks pinned Taylor Taft of Mishawaka (0:50) to start his day and then pinned Trent Jones of Culver Community (1:35) in the semifinals. In the title match Brooks fell 8-2 to Adam Davis in a rematch of last Saturday’s sectional championship.
Dilley (30-10) started his day with a pin of Clay’s Jared Horban. In the semifinals Dilley ran into top-seeded Will Vakalahi of Penn. Vakalahi escaped with a 5-2 decision and would go on to win the sectional. Dilley, meanwhile, defeated Alexander Aliev of Culver Academies 3-1 in the third place bout.
Ricardo Romo (106), Raymon Torres (152), Jeremiah Ponsler (160), Alex Castro (182), Damien Rodriguez (195) and Elisha Tipping (285) all fell in their opening matches.
Warsaw sent three wrestlers to the regional and yielded one champion on the day. That lone winner was Kyle Hatch as the senior claimed his fourth career regional title in commanding fashion.
Hatch (43-0) began his day as the top seed at 152 pounds and pinned John Loftus of Washington (3:20) in the first round. Hatch then went on and earned a tech fall (18-3) over Joseph Walker in the semifinals before beating Riley’s Kassius Breathitt 9-7 in the title match.
Jose Grimmett (8-21) had a tough draw as he fell to top-seeded Preston Risner of Penn by way of fall (1:04). It was also a short-lived day for Christian Taylor (23-16) as he drew Penn’s Haden Hensley and was pinned at the 2:34 mark of the match. Hensley (20-3) went on to win the regional.
Triton was able to send two wrestlers on to semi-state Saturday afternoon though seven Trojans wrestled at the regional.
Malachi Greene punched a semi-state ticket at 126 after earning a tech fall over Adams’ Dominique Clark in the first round. Greene (30-6) then fell 2-0 to Adam Davis of CMA in the semis before winning the third place match. Greene pinned Trent Jones (1:39) of Culver in the place round.
Joining Greene in East Chicago will be Marcus Brown at 132 pounds. Brown (21-16) upset Tristin Moreno in the opening round 12-6 before falling to Manzona Bryant by fall in the semis. In the place round Brown fell to Zander Henderson 2-1.
Connor Pitney (106), Nate Riggins (113), Bryce Swihart (120) and Cam Scarberry (195) all fell in their opening matches.
Valley had some tough draws and it showed Saturday as the Vikings were unable to get any wrestlers through.
Haley Hoover (15-22) took on top-seeded and eventual champ Evan Light of Penn and was pinned at 1:16 of the opening match at 106. Jordan Owens (15-26) was bounced in the first round as well in the 138-pound bracket after getting pinned (0:48) by Jacob LaPlace of Mishawaka. Tyler Manuszak (23-13) fell to the top seed at 182, Austin Faulkner of Mishawaka, by fall at 1:49.
The Panther competed at the Goshen Regional Saturday afternoon and advanced five to next week’s semi-state at New Haven.
Mikey Edwards (16-8) had the best showing of the day for the Panthers at 170 as he made the championship match before falling to Memorial’s Tristan Goering.
Jacob Chupp (145), Garrett Griffin (152), Jake Lone (160) and Michael Leonard (195) all will join Edwards in New Haven.
Whitko had two wrestlers compete at the Carroll regional Saturday afternoon. Logan Busz’s alternate tag was removed as he got into the mix at 120. Busz was beaten by No. 2 Blaigh Rushing of Homestead by fall in the opening round by fall (2:48). Busz finishes his season at 19-17.
Issac Walters (23-8) suffered a defeat in the opening round at 182 to Eli Parrett of Huntington North. Parrett escaped with a 19-14 decision to bounce the Wildcat sophomore from the tournament.